A/N Sorry for the delay, thanks for the reviews and apologies for the shortness. More coming soon! So keep reading!

Lucas curled up on his side and bit down hard on his lip, he could barely feel Peyton's hand squeezing his tightly or his mother's hand resting on his shoulder. All he could concentrate on was the anticipation, the fear knowing that a needle was about to enter his spinal chord.

He'd felt better than ever having just that week long break of no chemo but now he was going to have to suffer through it all over again but this time it would be worse.

How could something that was supposed to be helping him make him feel so awful. Chemo made him feel like he was dying.

Thinking back to last year he'd never imagined himself here, lying on a hospital bed sick with cancer, he'd never imagine himself back with Peyton either. Life just threw surprises at you like that.

"Okay Luke, we're gonna put the needle in. It's gonna be about four shots in different places on your spine okay." The nurse said.

Lucas nodded and looked up at Peyton who offered him a supportive smile. She brushed the side of his cheek softly.

He winced as he felt the sting of the needle and then there was an explosion of white hot pain as he felt it go in deeper. He bit his lip hard to keep himself from crying out but he couldn't stop his eyes watering.

He breathed raggedly as he gripped Peyton's hand tightly. He could hear his mother's soothing words but nothing could distract him from the agony in his back.

He couldn't go through this every week. He couldn't.

Peyton watched as Lucas closed his eyes against the pain and she felt tears well in her own. She couldn't stand seeing him hurt like this, she couldn't imagine the pain he must be feeling.

She didn't want to watch but she had to stay with Lucas. She couldn't imagine how hard this must be for him, being this sick. She was so scared she was going to lose him and she knew he was scared he wasn't going to beat this.

Lucas felt the second needle enter and the pain exploded again once more before everything went black.

As Lucas' eyes rolled back Peyton looked up in shock at the nurse, her eyes wide with fear.

"It's okay, he's just passed out from the pain. Most people do." She said and Peyton looked back down at Lucas' pale drawn face. Maybe it was better he had passed out.


Lucas could hear voices.

They sounded far away.


"He looks really bad,"

"It was horrible, he was in so much pain."

He could hear Peyton, she sounded upset.

Was she crying?

He slowly opened his heavy eyelids and instantly regretted it. He was hit by the immense pain in his back and a blinding headache.

He let out a groan which drew everyone's attention.

Nathan, Haley, Brooke and Peyton all sat up.

"Luke? Lucas hey. How are you feeling?" Peyton asked leaning towards him.

He could see she had been crying and he immediately felt guilty.

He loved her, he really did but sometimes he wished that he didn't because he hated putting her through all this.

"Hurts." He mumbled his throat was scratchy.

"Do you want me to get the nurse?" He heard Haley ask and she shook his head and wished he hadn't as his head exploded with pain.

He was so tired.

"S'okay…hey guys." He whispered offering a tired smile.

"Hey broody, I thought I'd come and visit but it's pretty boring watching you sleep." Brooke said with a smile.

"Hey man, the team says hi," Nathan said and Lucas smiled.

He wanted to sleep but the pain in his back and head was unimaginable.

He swallowed hard and tried to push himself upright but couldn't find the strength.

"Feels like I've been hit by a truck." He mumbled.

Peyton frowned concerned.

"You scared me Luke." Peyton whispered, she rubbed her thumb gently over his hand.


He swallowed again his mouth dry. He could feel his stomach churning slightly.

"Your mom is at the cafeteria, we managed to convince her to leave your side and get something to eat." Peyton said and Lucas smiled.

"Thanks, she worries too much."

"So do we." Haley said as she watched her best friend. She hated seeing him like this. He wasn't the Luke she knew, he was so fragile, so weak, worn down.

It wasn't fair that this had happened to him, he was a good person. She had cried herself to sleep in Nathan's arms worrying about him.

She just wanted him to be okay.

Lucas fiddled with the IV in his arm and sighed.

The pounding in his head wouldn't relent. The churning was getting worse.

"I bought you something Luke, I got you some magazines, a few books I've seen you reading, some music which Peyton helped to pick out so it's whatever slit my wrists crap you're listening to right now and…" Brooke trailed off seeing the look on Lucas' face as his face went a shade paler.

Before he could ask for a bowl he heaved and vomit rushed from his throat and soaked himself. Brooke leapt back from the bed as Lucas coughed and heaved again as Peyton quickly stuck a bowl in front of him.

He heaved again violently and coughed, his eyes watering with the strain as his now empty stomach continued to rebel.

Peyton rubbed his back and soothed him as he breathed out shakily, a film of sweat had formed over his forehead as he trembled.

Nathan, Haley and Brooke stood there not knowing what to do. They didn't spend as much time with Lucas as Peyton did, they weren't used to this.

Lucas looked down at the sick on himself and couldn't look anyone in the eye as his cheeks flushed with embarrassment.

"It's okay Luke, I'll help you change." Peyton said softly as Lucas struggled to blink away the moisture in his eyes, his face still flushed with humiliation.

"No, just…leave me alone." He mumbled.

"Lucas, it's okay you don't have to be…" She began but Lucas cut her off angrily.

"Embarrassed? Embarrassed that I puked over myself in front of my friends? That I can't even push myself up in bed? That I feel so shit I can't even stand?" He yelled as loud as his sore throat would allow.

He looked down at his hands his eyes blurred with tears. He wasn't going to cry…

Peyton swallowed, a lump rising painfully in her throat as she looked at the broken boy before her.

She turned back to the stunned group behind her.

"Can you guys give us a moment?" She asked her voice wavering slightly.

"Sure…we…we'll be outside." Nathan said casting a worried glance towards his brother before following the girls out of the room.

The door shut with a click and there was silence in the room.

Peyton walked slowly over to Lucas and began to pull of his top wordlessly. He let her do it, avoiding her gaze. She reached over to his bag and pulled out his hoodie. She handed it to him and he slowly began to pull it on, he winced as he moved his back and closed his eyes against the pain.

He'd put one arm through a sleeve before the other got caught, too exhausted to move he let out a cry of frustration.

"I can't even fucking dress myself! I'm so tired Peyton! I;m tired of this, I'm tired of being some sort of invalid, having no hair, feeling like shit. I can't do this…" He cried as he broke down.

Peyton rushed forward and detangled him before pulling him into a gentle embrace.

Silent tears slid down her cheeks as he broke down in her arms.

"It's okay…sshh…it's okay." She soothed as she rocked him as a child.

"I know it's hard Lucas but you have to beat this thing and I know you will. I need you Luke. I love you so much and so do those people out there. We need you." She cried as he sniffed in her arms.

"I'm just so fucking tired Peyton." He whispered brokenly.

Peyton adjusted his baseball cap and kissed him softly.

"Sleep Lucas. I love you." She said softly.

He lay back against his pillows, his eyelids growing heavier as he sniffed and weakly brushed the tears from his eyes.

"I love you." He whispered softly before slipping into sleep, his breathing evening out.

Peyton watched him and closed her eyes letting tears leak out from the corners.

She hated this.

She didn't know if she could be strong enough for the two of them.